Ragweed Season Helpful Hints

The bad news is that the numbers of persons with allergy is increasing. With this increase comes the complications of asthma, sinusitis, sinus headaches and bad sleep.

Recently Quest Diagnostics announced that there is a 15% increase in Ragweed Allergy over the past four years. This company does allergy diagnostic testing from blood samples. They examined some 2 million samples and concluded that ragweed allergy is significantly increasing. Based on their blood sampling, there is a six percent increase in overall incidence of allergies
Worst increases occurred in California, Nevada and Arizona. Here, over the four year period, the number of ragweed sufferers increased by a whopping 21% This is of particular importance because in the 50’s and 60’s patients were advised to move to these states to escape ragweed in the North Eastern U.S. When I practiced in Washington D.C., I advised patients to move to Arizona for their allergy. I personally moved to Los Angeles from Washington to escape that pollen area.
You used to be able to plan vacations away from the ragweed, using data from previous years. Unfortunately with the unusual weather we are experiencing in 2011 that is no longer an easy option.
Ragweed is a weed that releases its pollen about mid-August. (Trees pollinate in spring and grasses in the summer.) Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy eyes, skin and throat. Associated with ragweed pollen is allergy to fresh fruits such as bananas, cucumbers, melons and zucchini. This is why I have patients avoid fresh fruit and vegetables during this period. (Note: you can eat these cooked or processed for cans, because that breaks down the allergy molecule.) During allergy season you need to avoid hot spices with your food. These can add to the amount of histamine in your body. Ragweed sufferers welcome the first frost as that usually ends the ragweed season.
Stay tuned for more information on avoiding allergy symptoms.
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